How to Calculate Dough Hydration

How to Calculate Dough Hydration

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Hydration of the dough. Yes, its paramount to a successful loaf of bread, whether baking sourdough in a dutch oven or making breakfast bagels. While calculating dough hydration isnt critical to succeed, youll get more accurate results youre proud of if you do.

Calculating dough hydration isnt as complicated as it sounds. All you need to do is divide the weight of the water (in grams) by the weight of the flour (also in grams). Then, multiply it by 100. Knowing the actual percentage of hydration can uncover what type of crumb your bread will end up with.

Hello! My names Michelle, and Ive been on a ten-year-long baking journey. Ive spent time crafting bread loaves of all kinds, from simple white sandwich bread to more fun brioche and cinnamon raisin varieties.

Ive learned the importance of dough hydration and, more importantly, how to calculate it correctly.

Lets discover how to calculate dough hydration (its easier than you think; no math degree necessary).

How to Calculate Dough Hydration

How to Calculate Dough Hydration

Calculating dough hydration is the only way to know exactly what percentage of hydration your bread dough will end up with. With the statistics, you can learn how many crumbs your bread will have (more on this later stay tuned!).

Calculating dough hydration is easy.Trust me I hate nay, despise math. It was my least favorite subject in school, and honestly, Im just frankly not that great at it. So if I can calculate dough hydration, you can too.

Here’s how it’s done: divide the weight of the water (grams) by the weight of the flour (grams). Then multiply the final amount by 100. To make it easy, just plug your numbers into this equation:

(grams) of water Flour (grams) x 100 = Hydration Percentage


Okay, I get it. That might look like some gibberish. Allow me to put it in context.

We will start with a basic bread loaf recipe with 640 grams of water, 24 grams of yeast, 1,000 grams of bread flour, and 16 grams of salt.

Simply enter the following values to calculate hydration: 640 g water 1,000 g flour multiplied by 100 equals 64. Therefore, the dough hydration for this particular loaf of bread is 64%.

How to Calculate Dough Hydration – Backwards

How to Calculate Dough Hydration

Calculate hydration backward? But, Michelle, why? No, Im not trying to be snazzy. Some bakers want a specific percentage of hydration. In this case, theyll need to find out how much water to add to their flour.

This is just as simple. You will simply need to divide the desired percentage of hydration by 100. Then, multiply it by the amount of flour used in the recipe (in grams). That will give you the exact amount of water (in grams) you need to reach that hydration percentage.

Let me make it easy on you:

(Desired Hydration Percentage 100) x Flour (grams) = Required Water (grams)


Lets say youre making a loaf using 600 grams of flour, and your desired dough hydration percentage is 64%. You will need to divide 64 by 100, then multiply it by 600. This results in 384 grams of water.

Why is Calculating Dough Hydration Important?

Baking bread is already challenging enough. The kneading, proofing, and shaping yeah, its a process. Why would you want to dedicate even more time to baking bread by calculating the doughs hydration? What is the point of it?

The dough hydration percentage affects the final result of your loaf of bread. Those with higher dough hydration percentages have an airier, open crumb, while those with less hydration yield a denser crumb.

Heres a quick breakdown:

Dough Hydration Result
50-57% A dense crumb; perfect for bagels and soft pretzels
58-65% Tight crumb; ideal for most bread types, including white sandwich bread and rolls
65-80% Open, airy crumb with many holes; reserved for artisan bread like focaccia and ciabatta

How can this help you?

Well, if youre planning to make a batch of sandwich bread for the upcoming school year (Im right there with you, mommas!), then you will need to reach a dough hydration of 58% to 65%. So, using the backward calculating technique, you can know the right amount of water to add to your recipe.


Calculating your dough hydration can seem excessive, but its the gateway to perfect results every time and its not that difficult or time-consuming! Youve already learned a lot, but I thought Id add a few more frequently asked questions to help you out.

What is 60% hydration dough?

If you have 60% hydration in your dough, it means that you have 60% water relative to the amount of flour in your recipe. For instance, if you use 1,000 grams of flour in your recipe, you will have 600 grams of water (or other liquids).

What percentage is high hydration dough?

Many people want to bake high-hydration bread, such as sourdough. But what exactly does “high hydration dough” mean? High hydration dough typically describes dough with at least 80% hydration, but some people include 70% and up.

Does oil count as hydration in the dough?

While oil is technically a wet ingredient, it does not count in dough hydration. So, while you should include water, milk, etc., do not include oil in your calculation.

How do you make a 100% hydration starter?

Making sourdough starter for your next batch of sourdough bread? To create a 100% hydration starter, you will want to combine cup of water with cup of starter and one cup of water. That should be enough to convince your starter to raise his or her hand.

Calculating Dough Hydration is Easy and Makes Incredible Bread!

Calculating dough hydration is a simple three-step process. Simply divide the weight of the water (in grams) by the weight of the flour (also in grams). Then divide it by 100. You will have your percentage and know precisely what type of crumb your bread will end up with.

Do you calculate your dough hydration, or do you prefer to wing it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


What does 70% hydration mean in dough?

Hydration is an exciting concept in pizza making; it refers to the water ratio relative to the amount of flour in the dough. Let’s take an example of this, and if a recipe requires 100g of flour in it, then if we add 70g of water into it, it’ll be known as a dough with 70% hydration.

What does 60% hydration dough mean?

Simply put, it’s the amount of water you put into your pizza dough recipe. Usually it’s referred to as a percentage. For example, 1000g of flour and 600g of water – that’s 60% hydration.

What does 80% hydration dough mean?

What is “high-hydration” bread, exactly? High-hydration bread refers to loaves with a high ratio of water to flour, by weight. In baker’s percentages, we’re talking about doughs that are often in excess of 80% hydration.

How do you calculate sourdough bread hydration?

Flour (g)) x 100 = Hydration Percentage

Make sure to take into account the amount of flour and water used in your leaven as well. For example, if you use half flour and half water in your sourdough starter, then a 100g leaven would contain 50g flour and 50g of water.(Water (g)

How do you know if dough is hydrated enough?

15 x 100 = 67) hydration level, indicating a moderately airy crumb.4 cups of water (10 ounces) and 3 cups of all-purpose flour (15 ounces) will have a 67 percent (10Divide the weight of the water by the weight of the flour and then multiply the result by 100. For example, a recipe using 1 1

Does higher hydration make softer bread?

Texture – The higher the hydration level of your bread, the softer the texture will be, and the more open the crumb will be (i.e. bigger holes inside).

What hydration is New York style pizza?

Hydration of New York-style pizza dough

New York style pizza dough usually has a hydration level of around 65%. This is significantly more hydrated than Neapolitan pizza dough due to the longer baking time.

Can you over hydrate dough?

Too much water in bread dough will result in a dense, flat loaf. Too much water in bread dough interferes with the gluten structure, and the loaf will not be able to hold its shape. If the yeast in your bread dough dies because of overhydration, the dough will not be able to rise adequately.

What is the perfect dough water ratio?

Excess water makes a batter, while too little water renders a dough rough, dry and unpliable. Generally speaking, a flour to water ratio of 2:1 achieves a dough of reasonable consistency. So if you have 500g of flour, use about 250 mL of water.

What does a 75% hydration dough mean?

1,000, or 75%. Another example: If a recipe has the same weight of flour and water (let’s say 750g of each), then the hydration would be 100%. flour. So in the recipe above, if water is 750g and flour is 1,000g, the total hydration of the dough is 750 Remember that hydration = water

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